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Police Officer Dies While on Duty in Belize City

Forty-nine-year-old Police Corporal Jose Antonio Correa Blanco was found dead inside the Caribbean Shores Substation bathroom. Blanco’s body was found by his coworker on Sunday morning. Blanco reported for duty at about two-fifty that morning and around four-thirty he went to use the restroom. Becoming concerned, his coworker called for him but he did not respond prompting police to force open the door. ASP Fitzroy Yearwood says that an autopsy will determine the cause of death.

ACP Fitzroy Yearwood, Director of Communications:  “It’s unfortunate that he was found motionless by one of his colleague at the station where he was posted and working. According to his colleague he went to the bathroom sometime around 4:30 AM and when she realized that he was in there for a while and was not responding to her calls she got assistance from their main station at precinct four where the officers had to prise open the door and they found him motionless. He was transported to the KHMH where he was pronounced dead at around 7:30 AM thereabout. She’s saying that he didn’t appear to be anyway out of the ordinary but when he went to the bathroom and took so long is when her concerns began to grow and then eventually she checked on him. I know that in this department we try to give people their personal private time so I wouldn’t be banging on your door if you’re in the restroom not knowing what you’re doing or going through. So I believe that she acted after realizing that he was in there for far too long. But like I said it’s unfortunate for us.”

Blanco suffered from diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure. His death at the police station has prompted the public to query about police officers’ welfare. The media as ASP Yearwood about it.

ACP Fitzroy Yearwood, Director of Communications:  “I will not speculate on a man’s condition in his death until we have facts to go on. Like I said a post mortem will be done on him and at that time I can brief you as to whatever may have caused his death. Now to answer for the wellfare that would be a question that I believe would be best answered by the Commissioner of Police. But like I said it is very important for you to look out for your own health and interest as well as yes we know that the department has a responsibility because we do have a wellfare desk and I would greatly arrange for you to speak to our wellfare officer. If you allow me to arrange with her we have Assistant Superintendent Sherlet Ramclam who took over that desk in Belmopan and maybe she can answer to some of these questions on behalf of the department also. I am sure that the issue of wellfare will be addressed and hopefully like I said soon we can maybe have a sit down and speak about wellfare and the way forward. Of course we wouldn’t want a repeat of this happening to any member of this department no matter what the condition is and when it comes to officers on duty it’s really a case by case situation where we cannot just generalize everybody is healthy or everybody is not healthy because like I said each person reacts to things differently and display different symptoms.”